UK car output slump set to continue

Following the news that UK car output fell 37.6% in March, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) as the COVID-19 crisis shuttered plants;

David Leggett, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his views:

“The UK production numbers for March are in line with GlobalData’s forecast. The March result will be followed by an even sharper fall for April, when output ground to a halt at most plants for the whole month under lockdown orders.

“Although there was a slight uptick in exports to recovering China during the month, it can’t compensate for huge volumes of lost sales to major markets in Europe, North America and other parts of Asia-Pacific.

“GlobalData’s base COVID-19 global light vehicle sales scenario forecasts a fall this year of 16.2% on 2019 to 75.2 million.

“Most plants in Europe and North America are closed. We estimate 4.1 million light vehicles will have been removed from production this year by the end of April.

“That’s a revenue cost of $131.1bn to the vehicle makers in Europe and North America alone. Globally, losses could scale up to over $450bn so far this year – with more to come.”

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